Information sources and needs of small scale farmers in Katsina State, Nigeria
There is a growing concerted effort in supporting agricultural development worldwide. At present, many governments and donor agencies are intervening by supporting farmers with information in order to scale up farming operations and bridge the low income generation. The purpose of this study is to examine information needs and information sources used by Small Scale Farmers (SSF) in Katsina State. Two research questions and one hypothesis were developed to guide the study. Cross sectional survey design was adopted in which a total of seven hundred (700) registered small scale farmers from three agricultural zones of the state formed the population. A total number of two hundred and eighty (280) respondents were randomly sampled using cluster sampling technique. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics in which the null hypothesis was tested using Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient (PPMCC). The findings of the study revealed that the information needs of the SSF include the prices of farm produce, weather condition, agricultural loan, new seeds, fertilizer, pest control, new technology, information on storage methods as well as other information that could enhance their farming activities. The finding also revealed that the information sources of SSF are friends, relatives, agricultural dealers, extension workers, radio, television, farmers’ cooperative associations and local government agricultural units. Information needs and information sources of small scale farmers in Katsina State are many. At the present, the whole processes are not well coordinated. Government should have a common information hub, relevant agencies and small scale farmers should share information to improve farming activities.
Keywords: Information Needs, Information Sources, Small Scale Farmers